Cross-platform creativity

When approaching digital engagement it is important to get the most out of the content that you are producing. Repurposing and sharing your content across multiple platforms will enable you to reach wider audiences. We will explore this idea through a fictional case study:

A local authority archive wants to design a digital engagement project that centres around historical photographs of buildings and landmarks that they have in their collection.

The archive identifies the most visually striking photographs as well as those that contain well-known landmarks of the local area. They decide a good way to tell this story is through an examination of each building or landmark in the photographs and comparing it to what is in that location today. They begin a digital engagement project they decide to call ‘Through the Ages’.

They create a simple brief to help guide them through their process:

To use our historical photographs to tell stories online that will engage and inform people how our local landscape has changed over time.

They compile research and information on each photograph at the time it was taken and they research what exists in that location today. Rather than choose only one platform they map out how this content could be told on a variety of online spaces. This project can be used as an opportunity to approach new platforms they have not used before.

They decide upon the following:

A visual story on Instagram: They create a comparison photo story showing the historical photograph and a current photo of the same location. They caption the photo Through the Ages and give a small amount of detail about each photo, including unique project hashtags as well as providing a link to the blog in their bio.

Posts on Facebook: They upload a different Through the Ages photograph to Facebook each week with a post that outlines more about each photo and a link to the blog on their website. They invite comments from their followers to share memories of the locations.

Twitter:  They promote all the different strands of Through the Ages and how people can access this local historical content, as well as posting a shorter version of the Facebook posts and connecting posts via a unique project hashtag. They also encourage people to share their photos of the locations featured.

Blog: Create a more detailed webpage for the project, featuring a deeper dive into the history of the location and how it has changed over time, aimed at audiences who are interested in detailed information.

Google Earth: They approach a new way of presenting content through Google Earth by creating a story trail marking the photographs as locations on a map as well as a write-up of the history of that place. Audiences can see the archive’s photographs as well as explore the location through Google Earth or follow the trail in real life.

Podcast: An interview or discussion with a historian or someone with a connection to the location’s past alongside someone with a connection to the location’s present. A chance for the content creators from the archive to discuss the project and articulate what the project means to them and the local community.

Digital Exhibition: Using the Artsteps platform, they create an explorable digital exhibition that guides users around a virtual exhibition. The exhibition incorporates elements of the podcast as well as information from the website blog and Instagram photographs.

As a small team with limited time that can be committed to digital engagement, the team plan and develop the content over six months. Once every aspect of the project is ready, they set a launch date and use scheduling platforms to pre-plan all their social media posts, freeing up time for them to interact on social media with those who engage with the project.

There are several different social media scheduling platforms available that help you plan and schedule content. If used effectively, these platforms can save you time and the flexibility to repurpose your content. Most of these platforms charge a monthly fee however some do offer free services like Buffer or Later.

Social Pilot: Works with TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram (Direct Publishing), Google My Business, Pinterest, Tumblr, and VK.

Canva: Works with Facebook (Groups and Pages), Instagram Business, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slack, Tumblr.

Later: Works with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but it is most suitable for Instagram posting.

The next section of the Creative Inspiration Guide focuses on the creative process.